In India, more than 1.2 lakh women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year and the mortality rate is more than 50 percent. It is one of the most common gynecological cancers in women and especially in the age group of 15 to 44 years.
Cervical cancer is one of the most common gynecological cancers among women in developing countries. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that connects the uterus to the vagina. More than 85 percent of cervical cancer deaths occur in developing, low and middle-income countries.
More than 1.2 lakh women are diagnosed with this disease every year in India and the mortality rate is more than 50 percent. Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among Indian women in the age group of 15 to 44 years.
Cervical cancers are often related to an underlying infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is usually erotic transmitted. HPV can cause pre-cancerous changes in the cells of the cervix which eventually leads to the development of cervical cancer.
The HPV vaccine, if given at an early age, plays an important role in preventing HPV infection and in the prevention of cervical cancer, while It can be a slowly developing disease that, if not detected early, can spread to other parts of the body. May spread to other parts of the body such as the stomach, liver, bladder, or lungs.
Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer
This disease is mostly without any symptoms in the early stages and it can take years for the primary symptoms to develop. Some common signs and symptoms of stage 1 cervical cancer are:
- post-coital bleeding ie vaginal bleeding after intercourse
- Irregular or sudden bleeding between periods or bleeding after menopause
- foul-smelling vaginal discharge or pain during intercourse
- painful urination
- rectal bleeding
- weight loss
- loss of appetite
- pelvic or abdominal pain
Diagnosis Cervical Cancer
Gynecological screening along with a Pap test is usually effective in detecting most cases of cervical cancer by checking for signs of pre-cancerous and irregularities. Other tests, such as the HPV molecular test, are done to specifically check the cells of the cervix for the HPV virus. Biopsies are performed by taking tissue samples through various techniques such as punch biopsy or endocervical treatment, for detailed screening of suspected cancers. Other tests done to find out whether the disease has spread to other parts of the body are liver and kidney function studies, blood and urine tests, and radiological evaluation of the bladder, rectum, bowel, and abdominal cavity.
Like most other cancers, cervical cancer is also divided into four stages – stage I, stage II, stage III, and Stage IV Stage. Most go undetected without symptoms and this means that the cancer is only in the cervix and has not spread to other parts.
In the second stage, the infection has spread beyond the cervix and uterus but has not yet spread to the pelvic wall. Cancer can spread to the lower part of the vagina and pelvic wall in stage III and finally, in stage IV, it infiltrates the bladder, rectum, or other parts of the body such as your bones or lungs.